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Amelia Earhart: Young Aviator

Amelia Earhart: Young Aviator

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Amelia Earhart: Young Aviator

5/5 (1 Bewertung)
161 Seiten
2 Stunden
Jun 25, 2008


Using simple language that beginning readers can understand, this lively, inspiring, and believable biography looks at the childhood of Amelia Earhart. Illustrated throughout.
Jun 25, 2008

Über den Autor

Beatrice Gormley has written a number of books for young readers, including several titles in the History’s All-Stars series, as well as biographies of Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Laura Bush, and John McCain. She lives in Westport, Massachusetts.

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Amelia Earhart - Beatrice Gormley

Dear Reader:

The Childhood of Famous Americans series, seventy years old in 2002, chronicles the early years of famous American men and women in an accessible manner. Each book is faithful in spirit to the values and experiences that influenced the person’s development. History is fleshed out with fictionalized details, and conversations have been added to make the stories come alive to today’s reader, but every reasonable effort has been made to make the stories consistent with the events, ethics, and character of their subjects.

These books reaffirm the importance of our American heritage. We hope you learn to love the heroes and heroines who helped shape this great country. And by doing so, we hope you also develop a lasting love for the nation that gave them the opportunity to make their dreams come true. It will do the same for you.

Happy Reading!

The Editors

Amelia Earhart

Young Aviator

Illustrated by Meryl Henderson

Dedicated to Shannon Gormley



Amelia Earhart, woman of courage. 5

The roller coaster car was poised on the ridgepole. 26

There she was on the back of a real horse! 41

Faster and faster she flew downhill. 59

She climbed into the tree. 74

Finally it was too late to go to the dance. 93

Amelia was amazed. 120

She progressed quickly to lessons in the air. 137

Amelia had a special way with young people. 153

A crowd of thousands had gathered. 179

Photographs of Amelia appeared in magazines. 190

She swooped down to earth among astonished cows. 215

Bad news. 267



Up in the Sky

Millie Rides


A Happy, Lucky Family

Sad Grown-up Things

Money Troubles

Amelia Takes Charge

Work That I Could Do

California Flying

At Home at Denison House

The Beauty of Adventure

An Inspiration for Women

Solo Across the Atlantic

The Last Flight

We Pay with Courage

Amelia Earhart

Young Aviator

Up in the Sky

One morning in the late spring of 1904, a girl with long blond braids leaned out the window of a train in the Kansas City railroad station.

All aboard! shouted the conductor from the platform. The last passengers hurried to climb into the cars. Porters in uniforms boosted the last trunks into the baggage car.

We’re already aboard, called seven-year-old Millie Earhart. The yellow bows on the ends of her braids brushed the side of the railroad car. We’re going to the World’s Fair in St. Louis!

Millie often rode the train from Kansas City, where the Earharts lived, to Grandma’s house in Atchison. But that was just a short trip of an hour and a half. Today’s trip was special.

The train ride to St. Louis would take all day, and they would stay there for a week. On their trips from Kansas City to Atchison, the Earharts always sat on hard wooden seats. But the seats in their Pullman car on this train were as soft and comfortable as the armchairs in the library at Grandma’s house.

Millie (Amelia) sat next to her father, Edwin Earhart. In the two facing seats sat her mother, Amy Earhart, a pretty, slender woman, and Millie’s younger sister, Pidge (Muriel). Like Millie, Pidge had big bows—green ones—on her braids. The girls both wore ruffled dresses of dotted swiss, long black stockings, and high-button shoes.

Unpinning her hat with the wide upturned brim, Mrs. Earhart handed it to her husband. Thank you, Edwin. Her delicate-featured face was beaming.

Smiling back with a little bow, Mr. Earhart put her hat and his own jaunty straw boater in the overhead rack. His wife pulled off her gloves, patted her upswept shiny brown hair, and settled the long skirts of her traveling dress.

Meet me in St. Louie, Amy, Mr. Earhart sang to his wife. He was handsome, his dark straight hair slicked down with pomade. He wore a light summer suit and a silver watch chain across his vest.

Dad, said Pidge seriously, "Amy doesn’t rhyme with Louie. Silly four-and-a-half-year-old Pidge! Millie grinned at her father, and he winked back. Dad knew that Millie knew he was having fun with a popular song, Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis."

Just for a moment, Millie wondered why Grandma didn’t think this trip was a good idea. The day before yesterday, Mother had arrived in Atchison to pick up Millie for the summer. She had told Grandma and Grandpa about the coming trip to St. Louis. Millie remembered Grandpa saying to Mother, "I suppose Edwin has bought tickets for a Pullman car. Grandma had put in, with a disapproving sniff, As if this jaunt to the fair weren’t extravagance enough!"

Mother had flushed and answered them, The trip will take all day. Edwin wants us to be comfortable. Then the grown-ups noticed Millie, and they had stopped talking.

Now the train pulled out of the cavernous Kansas City station and into the bright light of the May morning. The two girls knelt on their seats to look out the window. As the wheels clicked faster and faster, the train slid past the drab narrow houses where poor people lived. Their backyards were barely big enough for a clothesline, where their long underwear hung out for everyone to see.

For a split second—but it seemed longer—Millie stared into the solemn face of a girl her age, sitting on the rickety steps of one of the houses. Then she turned away to see her mother watching her. Mother, said Millie, I wish everyone could go to the World’s Fair.

So do I, dear, said Mrs. Earhart.

The train left the city behind, and now farmland spread out as far as they could see. Rows of corn, already tall, flicked past like the riffled pages of a book. Look, Pidge, said Millie, look at the telegraph poles by the tracks, how fast they’re going by. Her little sister obediently blinked at the line of poles flashing past the train window. "Now look at that barn and silo across the field, how slow they’re going. See? You can make the train seem to go fast or slow, just by looking here or there."

The train would pull them all the way across the state of Missouri. Mother had showed Millie and Pidge on a map. "When we cross the Missouri River here, Mother had said, tapping the squiggly line with a shapely fingernail, we’ll be halfway to St. Louis. When we cross it again, we’ll be almost there."

Soon the girls were tired of looking out the window, and Millie got Dad to tell one of his made-up stories about the Wild West. Just then another shot rang out. Mr. Earhart clutched his chest, slumping in his seat. ‘They’ve got me, Mac,’ I groaned.

Then Mother read aloud from Black Beauty, a story about a horse. They had gotten to the part in which a drunken man whipped Black Beauty to make him gallop, although the horseshoe had fallen off one hoof. As the girls listened, tears welled up in Pidge’s eyes. But Millie’s eyes flashed. I would make that man stop whipping his horse, she said.

I’ll bet you would, too, said Dad, giving her shoulders a squeeze.

The train clickety-clacked across the Missouri River on high trestles, and it was time for lunch in the dining car. This was as fancy as dinners at Grandma’s, with a white linen tablecloth, flowers in a vase, and silver forks and knives. The Earharts ate chicken fricassee, new peas, and lemon layer cake.

Back in the Pullman car after lunch, Pidge fell asleep with her head in Mother’s lap. Millie and Dad and Mother played quiet games of old maid.

Later, Dad read to them from a newspaper about the World’s Fair. The first day, there would be a grand procession. There would be elephant rides and a Ferris wheel. There would be people from the other side of the world: from Africa, Japan, the Philippine Islands. There would be exhibits of amazing inventions: a railroad car with electric lights, a wireless telegraph tower, flying machines.

Millie sat up straight. "Flying machines? Can we fly in them?"

Mr. and Mrs. Earhart laughed. Mother said, "I don’t know that anyone can fly in them—at least, fly and land in one piece. Last year, the government paid Mr. Langley at the Smithsonian fifty thousand dollars to build a flying machine. When he tried it out—" She paused to laugh again.

When he tried it out, this is what happened, continued Dad. He showed the girls by doing a nosedive with his hand. Splat! At least Mr. Langley had the good sense to launch his contraption over the Potomac River.

The next morning, the Earharts hurried to the fair grounds to see the procession. As they watched from grandstand seats, there was a stir of excitement in the crowd. Roosevelt’s Rough Riders! people around them exclaimed. A unit of cavalry soldiers trotted into view. Millie couldn’t take her eyes off the riders, with their dashing cowboy hats and blue bandannas. She admired the easy way they handled their prancing horses.

After the procession, the Earharts set out to explore the fair grounds. All around them fountains sparkled in the sunlight, and marble statues gleamed among the flower beds. Crowds of people dressed in their summer best strolled along the paths.

Millie’s eyes followed a tall column in the middle of the plaza to its top, where a statue perched on top of a globe. Then her gaze shifted to a section beyond the plaza and a little train of open cars swooping along a high track. Oh! Look at that!

That’s a roller coaster, one of the rides in the Midway, said Mr. Earhart.

Dad! Millie swung his hand, looking up with shining eyes. Let’s ride on it.

Mr. Earhart put on a mock-serious look. Of course he was going to say yes; he wanted to ride on the roller coaster, too. And he would never be so mean as to go on the roller coaster and leave Millie behind.

But before Mr. Earhart could answer, Mrs. Earhart spoke up. Absolutely not, Millie. I’m sure there are no other girls on the roller coaster.

But, Mother! protested Millie. When you were a girl and wanted to climb Pike’s Peak, what if Grandpa said, ‘Absolutely not’? What if he’d told you, ‘Girls have never done it before’?

Climbing Pike’s Peak wasn’t dangerous, said Mrs. Earhart. And I was twenty-one. Mother was usually reasonable, but she had made up her mind.

Let’s ride on the Ferris wheel instead, said Mr. Earhart, squeezing Millie’s hand. We’ll all ride. He nodded toward an enormous wheel, looming above the trees in the distance.

Hooray! shouted Millie. Come on, Pidge! She seized her sister’s hand.

Hooray, we’re going on the Ferris wheel!

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